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Movies 2018 - 45. Traffic Stop (2017; directed by Kate Davis) 🌮🌮 (2 tacos)
A black teacher stopped for a routine traffic violation becomes the victim of a dramatic arrest. This is going to be a review that may rub some the wrong way. Allow me to first state something I believe to be true. The issue presented in this film is extremely important. Aggressive, racist police officers who use their position of power to commit heinous acts of violence against unarmed citizens need to be brought to justice for their actions. Something about this film and this particular incident truly rubbed me the wrong way. It doesn’t feel like a step in the right direction to move the needle on this cause. In fact, it may come off as a little bit of a detriment. The officer here was in the wrong for his aggressive actions against this woman and he should be reprimanded for them. However, from the video evidence presented, it certainly appears that a lot of what occurred could have been prevented by complying with the officer’s initial request. I get that that opinion may be problematic. I am not a person of color and don’t know how it feels to be pulled over as person of color — what thoughts and feelings enter my head in a moment that could be far more terrifying to someone other than myself. I can armchair quarterback this whole situation, but I have to present my opinion of this documentary short based on what is given. The framing of the film seems to be set up to paint a positive picture of Breaion King, the woman at the center of the arrest. This is done as a means of showing the victim’s humanity. We don’t often see that side of these stories. How King is presented kind of skirts the issue at hand. She did not deserve the aggression directed towards her in any way, shape, or form, but there has to be respect given from both parties when someone is pulled over for what should be a routine traffic stop. In disagreeing with the traffic stop when she knowingly - admittedly - was in the wrong, the situation escalated further than it ever should have. The cop is certainly at fault for his behavior, but this film feels like the wrong fuel for this fire.